For the past year, Pope Francis has invited the world to
contemplate mercy: the mystery of God’s mercy toward humanity, and how we can
embody His mercy in our actions. The church specifies seven spiritual and seven
corporal works of mercy. Below are six articles inspired by the Year of Mercy from
the past year.
The Divino Niño Jesús is a devotion to the Divine Child Jesus, asks faithful to take baby Jesus out of the manager. a
Surrounded by her children, grandchildren and a
great-granddaughter, Elizabeth Donaldson opened a manila
envelope handed to her by Emily Gerke. She slowly pulled out
a small towel with "Home is where our story begins" printed
on it in swirling cursive letters. As she unfolded it, more
messages appeared - all handwritten. Her eyes darted across
the fabric as Gerke explained to her what she was seeing.
For years, Josie Blessard dreaded school.
The annual luncheon for pastors and principals sponsored by
the Arlington Principals Association had an added layer of
celebration and sentiment Jan. 19 as both Arlington Bishop
Paul S. Loverde and Sister Bernadette McManigal,
superintendent of diocesan schools, are set to retire this
In the rear of St. Dominic Church in Washington on a Saturday
afternoon last May, Matt Klosterman felt the pressure. The
parishioner of St. William of York Church in Stafford and
technology trainer for the Arlington Diocese was about to
audition for the Papal Mass Choir, that will sing at the
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
in Washington for Pope Francis' Mass Sept. 23.
In Luke's Gospel, Jesus tells His disciples to give without
hesitation - that if they see a need, they should try to meet
that need: "If a man borrows your coat, give him your shirt
as well," (Lk 6:30). Jordan Kijewski, a senior at Paul VI
Catholic High School in Fairfax, lives the example Jesus
described by recognizing the needs of others and trying to
meet them - all while attaining excellence in academics,
sports and extracurriculars.
Srijan Bhasin, 17, is poised for success. The Bishop
O'Connell senior and 2015 class valedictorian, is scheduled
to attend the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg in
the fall to study chemistry. He then plans to go to medical
school to earn a medical degree and a doctorate to balance
research and clinical work.
When Caitlin Lang graduated from St. William of York School
in 2003, she had no idea she would be back 11 years later
wandering the same halls, and some new ones, as a teacher.
If you ask an elementary school student what he did in school
today, you might expect a short monologue of school subjects
and assignments, maybe even a recap of recess. But if the
student is from St. Theresa School in Ashburn, he might
follow the story with, "And I got a cavity filled today."
Although some diocesan schools have experienced declining
enrollment over the last few years, St. Thomas More Cathedral
School in Arlington continues to grow and even installed a
modular unit to create necessary classroom space Aug. 1. The
28-by-68-foot outdoor complex will house the school's library
in order to make room for a third second-grade classroom and
a Spanish classroom within the original school building.
Development Director Tara Quaadman explained why the school
community felt that a project like this was necessary.